When you top the 1,000 win mark as a Head Coach it is hard to know what the next actual milestone win number is. It is 1,250? Is it 1,500? Monday at Brent Gould Field in Liberal, Saints Head Coach Galen McSpadden picked up win number 1,100 in his illustrious career as Seward downed McCook 7-3 on opening day of the 2014 season.
Things started off well for the Saints as sophomore lefthander Austin King got the nod in game 1 of 56 and promptly took the mound and struck out a pair in a quick 1st inning for Seward.
King struck out two more in the 2nd and the Saints gave him a lead in the bottom half of the inning as an RBI groundout from Jordan Leinweber put Seward in front 1-0 after 2.
King continued to baffle the McCook hitters in the top of the 3rd, striking out the side and the firepower on the mound translated into firepower at the plate as the Saints came to the plate in the bottom of the 3rd frame. A sacrifice fly from the reigning Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year Bryson Allen gave the Saints their first run of the 3rd, but they weren't done there. Connor Smith ripped an RBI single to put Seward up 3-0 and late in the inning Leinweber squared up on a ball to score two more to stake the Saints to a 6-0 lead.
The Saints ace remained in control after the long inning, setting down the Indians in order in the top of the 4th and a two out RBI single from Oklahoma State transfer Brent Williams gave the Saints a 7-0 lead after 4.
Even with a nice cushion to work with, King didn't let up, picking up strikeouts number 8 and 9 in the 5th as he put up another 0 on the McCook side of the scoreboard.
The Indians finally scratched something across in the 6th as King began to tire, scoring a pair of runs to make it a 7-2 game after 6.
Neither team scored in the 7th or 8th innings and they swiftly went to the 9th with the score remaining 7-2 in favor of Seward.
McCook tried putting something together in the 9th, scoring a run and loading the bases before bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs, but the Saints worked out of the jam and closed things out to hang on for a 7-3 win.
Seward hammered out 13 hits in the win while McCook managed 11 hits. Reed Thompson led the Saints with a career high 4 hit game while Jake Fuller had 3 hits at the top of the lineup and Williams and Leinweber each finished with a pair of hits. King earned the win on the mound for Seward, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 runs while striking out a career high 11. Three Saints pitchers finished the game off for Seward without allowing an earned run. Seward pitching finished the game striking out 13 McCook hitters and only walking 1. The game was played in a swift 1:58 with weather conditions less than ideal at 38 degrees and 13 mile per hour winds.
The win is number 1,100 for McSpadden who currently ranks 5th among active coaches in the NJCAA in that category.
The Saints win their season opener for the 3rd consecutive year and the 6th time in the past 7 seasons. Seward is now 1-0 and will turn their attention to this weekend where they will meet Galveston in a four game series in Arlington, Texas. The Saints and Whitecaps will play under the lights at the University of Texas-Arlington on Friday at 6:00 with a Saturday double header slated for 1:00 and the series finale scheduled for Sunday at 11:00 AM.
SEWARD COUNTY/MCCOOK BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2013-14/files/2-3Box.pdf>